We focus on providing minimally invasive surgical solutions while focusing on whole person health.
What to Expect Before and After Robotic Surgery
- Patients are encouraged to walk and eat regular foods the day of surgery.
- Medications for pain, nausea, and bloating are given through the IV, or by mouth.
- Surgery times vary from about 1-2 hours, to 4-5 hours for very complex cases.
- We stay in touch with your family during the surgery by pager. We will also meet with them in person after your surgery is done.
- Most patients spend about 1-2 hours in the post-surgical recovery unit. If an overnight stay is needed, they are transferred to our post-operative floor. We will let your family know by pager when they can see you.
- Most patients are ready to go home the day after surgery. Our team will meet with you in the morning to see when you can go home.
- Patients often feel mild to moderate bloating due to the medications used during surgery. Anti-gas medications and walking will help.
- On discharge, you will go home with a prescription for medications. If you have a problem with these medicines, please call our office.
- We will tell you when to return for a postoperative check up when you are discharged. These are usually 1-2 weeks after surgery.
- Try to stay active. You may have some discomfort or feel tired, but walking slowly will help you recover.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink lots of water to speed healing.
- Try to get plenty of sleep each night.
- Many patients stop taking pain medications in the first week after surgery, but taking them before bedtime can help keep you comfortable.
- Do not strain or lift anything over 20 pounds.
- You can drive in the first few days after surgery if you are not taking narcotic pain medications.
- Most patients can return to work in about 2 weeks. If your work involves heavy lifting or other strenuous activity, it is best to wait 6 weeks.
- In general, post surgical discomfort, nausea, and bloating should decrease each day. If pain worsens or becomes severe, fever develops, or bleeding from the incisions is noted, please call our office right away. If it is after hours the hospital operator can page a member of our on-call team.
Becoming a Gynecologic Robotic Surgery Patient
While the great majority of women who undergo a hysterectomy each year experience a traditional, open approach, many of these patients would benefit from robotic surgery. Our surgeons are committed to helping you find out if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive approach. During your initial consult, a detailed history will be reviewed and a gentle exam performed. If you have had other opinions or imaging studies at other hospitals, it is helpful to bring these along for review during your visit with us. Sometimes a decision must be put off until further test results can be obtained. Our surgeons will always strive to explain your options, putting you in control of your own health care. If surgery is required, we will make every effort to offer you the easiest and safest treatment for your problem, often using a laparoscopic or robotic approach. Ultimately, we want what you want … the best, safest, and least painful way to restore you back to full health.
It all starts with one phone call to our appointment desk. Our schedulers will verify your insurance, and take down information about your problem. We will make every attempt to accommodate consultation requests within two weeks, but due to the large numbers of patients seeking treatment, it may occasionally take longer to schedule the initial visit.
Call us at 909-558-7758 to set up your first appointment with one of our physicians and determine if robotic surgery is right for you.
Preparing for Surgery
A few general recommendations in the weeks before surgery will positively impact your recovery time:
- Eat foods high in fiber – fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help ensure optimum colon health
- Walk as much as possible – the better shape you’re in before surgery, the easier your recovery will be; use this time for positive thinking and reflection
- Make things easier for yourself when you return home – clean your house (or have it cleaned for you), buy healthy groceries that are easy to prepare, gather books from the library and other hobbies you enjoy, have prescriptions filled before surgery
- Arrange time off work and coverage issues beforehand, so you can relax after surgery. Our surgery schedulers will assist you in arranging your medical disability
- Talk with your doctor about any concerns you may have before surgery.
Some common questions for your doctor are listed below:
- How long will surgery take?
- Exactly what will be removed? Uterus, ovaries, tubes, cervix, appendix? (How will these organs be removed? Through abdominal incision? Through the vagina? With the help of a laparoscope?)
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- How long will I be on bed rest?
- Will a pathology report be done of all the organs removed? I do want one done.
- How long for the results of the pathology report to come in? (If cancer is suspected, when will I begin cancer treatments and what options are there?)
- If I'm taking BC pills or HRT, do I stop taking them prior to surgery? If so, how long before?
- What medication will I be on for pain in the hospital and when I am home?
- Will the doctor perform a bladder repair? (If you have incontinence, this is the time to bring it up as this is the best time for bladder and/or rectum repair)
- Will the doctor use a tummy binder on me? Will I need one?
- If my ovaries are being removed, when will I start hormones (HRT)? Most important: will the doctor help me to adjust if needed or should I see my family doctor to help with this?
- If I am keeping my ovaries, how will I know if they are working post-op? if they shut down temporarily and I experience hot flashes, how long will I endure menopause symptoms before the ovaries kick back in?
- Will I need any preparation before surgery? (enema, stool softener, liquid diet, etc)
- When will I be able to resume driving?
- How long will I be off work?
- Will I be able to lift my baby? If not, how much can I lift safely at 4 weeks, at 6 weeks?
- When can I return to the gym?
- I take certain meds regularly (list your meds, including over-the-counter meds and supplements), will I be allowed to take these to the hospital with me?
- I've heard that there is a problem with gas after surgery and have been told that over-the-counter medicines such as Gas-X can help. Is it OK if I take some along to the hospital with me?
- What kind of anesthesia will I have?
- What are the restrictions for any sort of sexual activity after surgery? Is external stimulation allowed and if so, how soon? When can intercourse be resumed?
Loma Linda University Health Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery Center accepts most insurances. Please confirm with the office prior to making your appointment.
Recovery and Common Expectations
- Surgery time varies from about 1- to 2-hours for simple cases, to 4-5 hours for very complex cases. We will stay in touch with your family during the surgery by pager, and meet with them in person after the case is finished.
- We generally document our findings in surgery with color pictures, video, or both. A copy of the pictures and video can be given to you on request, for your files.
- Most patients spend about 1- to 2-hours in the post-surgical recovery unit. If an overnight stay is needed, they are then transferred to our post-operative floor. Family will be notified by pager so they can see the patient.
- Patients are encouraged to walk and eat regular foods the day of surgery, as tolerated. Medications for pain, nausea, and bloating are given through the IV, or by mouth.
- Most patients are ready for discharge the day after surgery. Our team will meet with you in the morning to determine when you will be ready to go.
- Because of both the anesthesia and the surgery, the intestines are often slowed down. This results in mild to moderate bloating for most patients, lasting for several days. Anti-gas medications and frequent walking will help to minimize the duration of discomfort.
- On discharge, we will send you home with a prescription for the medications that have worked well for you in the hospital. If there is any problem with these medicines, please call our office.
- After minimally invasive and robotic surgery, there is no need for bed rest at home. Patients will have some discomfort and increased fatigue, but should try to stay active, walking slowly and often – increasing walking time as they are able.
- Patients should eat a healthy diet and drink lots of water to speed healing
- Try to get plenty of sleep each night. Patients often discontinue pain medications in the first week after surgery, but taking these before bedtime can increase comfortable sleeping time.
- Avoid straining and heavy lifting over about 20 pounds
- Most patients can drive in the first few days after surgery if they are not using narcotic pain medications.
- Our team will instruct you on when to return for a postoperative check up when you are discharged. Usually, 1- to 2-weeks after surgery.
- Most patients can return to work in about 2-weeks. If your work involves heavy lifting or other strenuous activity, it is best to wait 6-weeks.
- If a hysterectomy has been performed, please abstain from sex for the first 6-weeks to allow time for healing of the vagina. Your doctor will perform a gentle exam at 6-weeks to ensure vaginal healing is complete.
- In general, post surgical discomfort, nausea, and bloating should decrease steadily each day. If pain worsens or becomes severe, fever develops, or bleeding from the vagina or the incisions is noted, please call our office right away. If it is after hours the hospital operator can page a member of our on-call team.
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